The Ghost Pepper

Scary Heat for October

Sizzling Fact 1

The hottest ghost pepper can be 417 times hotter than the mildest jalapeño.

Lots of people have tried a jalapeno pepper, so this is a effective reference point that can really help people understand how hot a ghost pepper really is.

Military Grade Heat

The Indian government has used ghost pepper chili grenades as a way to safely immobilize terrorists and other criminal suspects. The bomb’s smoke creates a near-automatic chili burning experience which forces people out of buildings and other hide-outs.

They're Probably Haunted

It gets its spooky English name from the translation of the Indian word Bhut, which means “an especially malevolent spirit”.

Technically Bhut likely came from the Bhutia tribe who were some of the of the earliest traders of this pepper, but the Bhut in Bhutia may come from the Indian word that essentially means “mean ghost”. 

Aint no ‘Bhuts’ about it, this thing is HOT

The Bhut Jolokia, better known as the ghost pepper, is one of the most infamous hot peppers around today.  It has an especially cool name, and there are a large number of hot sauces that use the Bhut.  But, there are things you may not know about this super-hot pepper that may surprise you.  This is the super hot pepper that started it all.   All the way from Assam, India it is the first hot pepper to reach the one million mark on the Scoville Heat Index.  They were once very difficult to source due to their extreme nature, but no more. Some gourmet supermarkets now carry these potent beauties.  Many folks think the Ghost Pepper is still the world’s hottest, but it only held the World’s Hottest Pepper title for 4 years from 2007-2011.

Here are three ghost pepper facts that you can impress your friends with the next time the discussion of hot peppers comes up.

Respect The Ghost

Understand what you’re handling before you handle it!

Wear protective gear when handling fresh or dried ghost peppers

The implication is not simply kitchen gloves here. A kitchen mask and kitchen goggles, along with long sleeves are highly recommended when dealing with ghost peppers.   After handling – even with gloves – wash your hands thoroughly. It’s best to be as protective as possible.

Learn about treating chili burn prior to handling ghost peppers

You don’t want to be seeking out relief blindly after you’ve experienced what will undoubtedly be intense pain. Read up on how to treat chili burn.  There are a few good solutions, but the best of all is milk. Keep it close at hand.

Choose simple recipes until you understand ghost pepper potency and flavor

For your first few times cooking with ghost peppers, stick to simple infused oils and hot sauces.  Using ghost pepper in simple recipes helps you understand both the heat and the flavor of this chili. Yes, there is a flavor, and you’ll taste it as ghost peppers have a notoriously slow burn that builds up over time.

Hot Topics For Handling Ghosts

If you create a homemade ghost pepper hot sauce or salsa and you think it’s hot now, wait until you taste it a few weeks later. Hot sauces and salsas tend to heat up with age as the ingredients meld and the chilies mature. Approach your concoctions carefully even if you think you know what to expect.

Remember less is best

This is one chili where a little goes a long way. A sliver of one chili, in fact, may be all the heat you need for a dish.

Caution label your creation

Label what you make in big bold letters with the words “Danger: Extremely Hot” This is obviously important if you share the fridge with family of all ages, but it’s also important as a reminder to you, too.

Slow and Grow (the heat!)

If you create a homemade ghost pepper hot sauce or salsa and you think it’s hot now, wait until you taste it a few weeks later. Approach your concoctions carefully even if you think you know what to expect.

Consult the experts

Bruce Foods continues to champion the pepper.  Cayenne, chili, habanero, jalapeno, to name a few. Bruce Foods wants you to embrace this pepper, but know what you are facing when you do. 

Celebrate a safe and happy halloween with your friends

Wanna be the “ghoulist” kid on the block. If you serve salsas, dips, and foods marinated with bruce foods spices or marinates, your halloween party will raise the dead.

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